A Kelowna man will spend another 1,700 days in jail for the possession and trafficking of “wholesale” quantities of illicit drugs.
Jason Edward Keehn appeared in Kelowna’s court on Nov. 29 where he pleaded guilty to one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of trafficking controlled substances.
In November 2017, the Kelowna RCMP received information about a potential drug trafficking operation. After covertly observing multiple short-duration meetings, consistent with drug sales, a search warrant was executed on the Kelowna apartment where Keehn was residing, on Dec. 13, 2017.
During the search, police seized one kilogram of methamphetamine, one kg of fentanyl, 0.5 kg of cocaine and six firearms.
The drug seizure and subsequent arrest of Keehn was part of a large-scale RCMP drug enforcement project that involved 10 targets in Kelowna, said the Crown prosecutor for the case.
Justin Dosanjh, the defence lawyer representing Keehn, explained to the court that while large quantities of drugs were found, his client is a “street-level dealer.”
Dosanjh told the court that Keehn was not a “controlling mind” of the large-scale operation, and was instead “pounding the pavement,” to sell drugs.
Crown agreed that Keehn was a low-level drug dealer, or pawn, in the operation.
Dosanjh said that Keehn was experiencing homelessness at the time of his arrest and was staying at the apartment where the drugs were found simply to play the role of a “drug sitter,” and caretaker of the residence as he had nowhere else to live.
He said that Keehn was struggling with substance use disorders and mental illness without support from his family at the time of the search.
“He was a babysitter of these drugs,” said Dosanjh.
Crown and defence presented a joint submission for a sentence of six years, less time served. The judge found the submission reasonable and sentenced Keehn to six years of incarceration.
Keehn has already served the equivalent of 465 days and will spend 1725 new days in custody.
Dosanjh told the court that Keehn was able to get sober while in jail and is now looking forward to accessing the resources that are available at the penitentiary.